International Master of Science in Agro- and Environmental Nematology
Nematodes or roundworms are everywhere. They are amongst the most harmful organisms to crops, especially in the tropics. As natural antagonists of certain pest insects they are at the same time very promising for use in bio-control programmes. Our study programme is unique in the world. It deals with fundamental as well as applied aspects of nematology.
Nematodes or roundworms are everywhere. They are amongst the most harmful organisms to crops, especially in the tropics. As natural antagonists of certain pest insects they are at the same time very promising for use in bio-control programmes. Their omnipresence, overwhelming densities and diversity (sometimes compared to insects) make the free-living nematodes an ideal tool for biodiversity studies. They are used as bio-indicators of pollution in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. The International Master of Science in Agro- and Environmental Nematology is unique and attracts students from all over the world. It deals with fundamental as well as applied aspects of nematology and concerns all groups of nematodes in all possible environments: natural soils, agricultural soils, aquatic sediments of freshwater, brackish or marine habitats. It caters to an international need for training highly qualified nematologists with a multidisciplinary knowledge in the diverse fields of nematology and related sciences. This international multicultural English-taught study programme is multidisciplinary in its approach both within the field of biology and agro-engineering.
The admission requirements vary. Depending on your preliminary training, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.
The programme consists of 60 ECTS-credits worth of mandatory course units in the first year, all with a focus on nematology. In the course of the second year (third term), students can broaden their expertise by a choice of electives offered at Ghent University and foreign (partner) universities.
Students choose one of three tracks (30 ECTS-credits):
- UGent track
- Kenya track - International Capacity Building & Sustainability. The programme at IITA-ICIPE Nairobi (Kenya) includes a Basic Nematology Crash Course (BNCC) for local students and a mobility track for the MSc Nematology students. As part of their curriculum, the latter will be able to undertake professional work placement in Kenya and the wider region, take a course unit with a focus on specific developmental needs and will be involved in training local students during the BNCC.
- International Mobility track, an opportunity for Erasmus+ applications.
In the fourth term students will make a Master’s dissertation at 30 ECTS-credits.
The International Master of Science in Agro- and Environmental Nematology prepares students for a career in highly diverse fields and environments. The sectors of employment range from teaching and (lab) research in universities, governmental institutions and industry, to taking up advisory positions vis-à-vis the general public, farmers or policy makers. Our multidisciplinary approach allows nematologists to be active in the field of biology and agro-engineering as well as medicine, be able to work in the most sophisticated laboratories (advanced molecular and genetic research) as well as in suboptimal conditions with hardly any basic equipment at all, as is the case in some developing countries.
Main trumps are: in-depth and broad scientific knowledge, capacity to analyse and solve problems, write research proposals, good communication skills and contacts with national and international nematologists and centres of nematological research and application, or related fields.
At Ghent University, we strive to educate people who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow. For that purpose, we provide education that is embedded in six strategic objectives: Think Broadly, Keep Researching, Cultivate Talent, Contribute, Extend Horizons, Opt for Quality.
Ghent University continuously focuses on quality assurance and quality culture. The Ghent University's quality assurance system offers information on each study programme’s unique selling points, and on its strengths and weaknesses with regard to quality assurance.
Ghent University's Education Objectives
Unique Selling Points
- Globally unique Master’s programme to provide future nematologists all necessary basic and advanced skills and knowledge in fundamental and applied aspects of nematology. As such, the programme fulfils the international need for highly qualified nematologists with a strong multidisciplinary knowledge in the multifaceted field of nematology.
- A fully international programme with a strong inter-university emphasis, focusing on knowledge transfer and capacity building. The cornerstone of this programme is the development of technical skills and creative strategies for problem solving, critical analysis of problems and - in particular - addressing problems and needs in developing countries, e.g. food security and other agricultural and environmental challenges.
- A centre of excellence in nematology training, internationally recognized as the best place to get a master’s degree in nematology. The nematology coordination office acts as the focal point to bring students, alumni and the broader nematology network together and strives to be a “home and family” for its students, providing additional social services in the area of educational, administrative, assessment and personal matters and organising several extra-curricular activities.
- A stimulating environment in which students can function freely regardless of their ideological, political, cultural or social background. These differences are treasured by the master programme, as it provides the opportunity to explore different viewpoints (cf. multiperspectivism).
- Because of its direct link with and focus on (sub)tropical regions, the programme is characterized by the integration of a South Component in the curriculum (Kenya track) and offers satellite training programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nonetheless, there is also more and more attention to the advance of tropical pests and diseases in the north as a result of climate change.
- International guest lecturers strengthen the teaching staff. Each lecturer is an expert in his/her field and does cutting edge research in nematology. As such, this Master's programme is a research-based educational programme, embedded in an international network.
- Students have ample opportunities to get hands-on experience in an international context, for example, dissertation subjects/professional internships are available in various international institutes and universities.
- A remarkable high percentage of alumni are offered PhD positions worldwide. Our alumni are globally considered to be the best-trained nematologists at master level.
- A small group of students (max 20 students per intake) with permanent access to own practical room and a dedicated coordinator results in an open familial atmosphere with lifelong links.
- Ample possibilities for personal development (for example tailor-made programme and research projects) and a smooth link to the global nematology network and the network of future employers.
- This truly international programme has a limited number of European students and is dependent on external funding for its organisation. The nematology coordination team is especially keen to welcome more Belgian and European students to make this programme truly diverse.
- The students’ diverse backgrounds result in a different appreciation of the study load, especially in the first semester (too difficult vs too easy; too slow vs too fast, etc.). The lecturers make great efforts to bring everyone to a similar level.
- A more systematic feedback from our external stakeholders (alumni, industry, farmers, international colleagues) is needed in order to continuously align our programme with the most recent developments.
This study programme is accredited by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch: NVAO). Accreditation was extended following the positive outcome of the institutional review in 2017. Programme quality was validated by a quality review, i.e. a screening of the Education Monitor by the Education Quality Board. The Quality Assurance Resolution (in Dutch) can be found here.
This information was last updated on 16/05/2022.
In case of questions or suggestions with regard to the publicly available information, please contact the study programme.